Antibiotic-resistant staph not yet observed in Trigg County
by Alan Reed
Oct 31, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tennessee’s Department of Health reported a spike in Methacillin-Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) in 2007, with 1,400 cases this year compared to 1,800 in 2005 and 2006. Despite the increase in the neighboring state, Trigg County has thus-far avoided serious infection.

Common to schools, prisons, and hospitals, the bacteria that causes the infection is found throughout the community according to Trigg County Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Gail Franks. Patients with breaks in their skin, surgical wounds or weakened immune systems may suffer from infection.

Franks said that the hospital guards patients from infection with a rigid infection-control policy including hand-washing protocols. A patient suspected of a MRSE infection will be isolated in a private room. “We have a constant infection control program in place to keep employees updated with the most recent info to protect other patients,” said Franks. She said that the hospital also stocks alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel in patient rooms and hallways for employees and visitors to use frequently.

Trigg County Hospital also reports infection rates to the Center for Medicare Service to collate and track outbreaks of MRSE and other infections.

“We’ve had no MRSE infections that I am aware of in the last four years, which is the length of my tenure,” said Franks. Any suspected MRSE case would be subject to investigation and special measures.

Trigg County High School Nurse Clara Beth Hyde reported no incidents in the school with MRSE-related infections. “We’ve had no known cases and are not doing anything differently. We’ve been notified of no problems and have no additional measures in place right now. We’re going about our day-to-day business as usual.”

Acting Secretary for Health and Public Health Commissioner Dr. William Hacker said in a press release, “Patients and their physicians may assume that the lesion is a spider or bug bite. The involved site can be red, swollen, painful and draining. More serious infections, such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections and pneumonia, can also occur.” He emphasized the importance of quick and appropriate treatment if a staph infection is suspected.

According to the release, Common skin conditions caused by MRSA include infected cuts, boils, fluid-filled blisters (impetigo), or skin sores that look like infected insect bites.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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